Matt. 5:13




The New Revised Standard Version our text reads, "You are the salt of the    

earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?”

“It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.”


Can salt really lose it’s saltiness?

Pure salt can’t.


But two thousand years ago, the people didn’t have pure salt.

Their salt usually came from evaporated sea water.


It was often improperly packaged;

Improperly stored and transported;


Exposed to dirt, rain and the sun.

Some salt was so impure it wasn’t even salty.


It was insipid.

The people often poured it out on the path to their front door.


It killed the grass;

Hardened the soil;


Made a better path to walk on.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.”


But He divided salt into two categories:

Good salt that flavors and preserves;


And bad salt that’s contaminated.

He urged us to be good salt.


And warned us about the danger of living a life that’s inconsistent with the    


The ancient Greeks were famous for plays in large amphitheaters.


But two thousand years ago the actors didn’t have cameras to project their   

image on large screens;

They didn’t have microphones to amplify their voice for the large crowds.


So they used large masks that could be seen way up in the stands;

Large masks with built in megaphones to amplify their voice.


The actors went on stage to portray another person.

They pretended to be someone else.


The Greek name for these actors was “hypocrites.”

That’s what Jesus was talking about;


People who pretend to be someone else.

They are hypocrites.


One of my first jobs was at a soap factory.

We boiled soap in large kettles.


The boiling soap gave off steam.

Those who worked around the soap kettles sweated a lot.


When a person’s body loses too much moisture and salt, their life is   


We took salt tablets.


They weren’t contaminated salt tablets.

But suppose they were.


Suppose the salt tablets didn’t contain much salt.

Salt tablets that don’t contain much salt are worthless.


Throw them away.

Get good salt tablets.


That’s the problem:

Church members who aren’t salty.


Some Church members never were salt.

Some Church members got contaminated by the world and lost their saltiness.


Their life, their goals, their dreams, their desires caused them to abandon their         

obedience to God.

He cannot and will not bless this disobedience.


Unsalty Church members have some people fooled,

Most are fooling their selves,


But they’re not fooling God.

In college Chemistry, I was given an unknown compound and asked to         

identify it.


I looked at it and said, “Anybody can tell this is salt.”

I touched some to my tongue (spit).


I quickly learned one of the differences between salt and potash.

God knows the difference between real salt and something that looks like      



The difference between real Church members and pretend Church members.

And He will cast the pretend Church members into hell.


Today, I’m asking, “How can our saltiness be restored?”

And I want to discuss four Bible examples.


Our 1st example of restoration concerns the Jews in Isaiah’s day.

God said, “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled

against me” (Isa. 1:2).


He used a little humor.

“The OX knoweth his owner, and the MULE his master's crib:”


“But Israel doth not know” (Isa. 1:3).

Have you ever heard the expression: “Dumb as an ox,”


“Stubborn as a mule?”

God was saying, “A dumb OX knows his owner’s voice .”


“A stubborn MULE knows who feeds him.”

But my people don’t know my voice.


And they don’t know who feeds them.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee told about a little boy who was raised in a Christian      



He visited people who weren’t Christians.

They sat down for his first meal away from home.


But they didn’t ask the blessing.

“Don’t you thank God for your food,” the little boy asked?


“No,” replied his friend’s mom.

The little boy blurted out, “That’s what my dog does.”


“He just starts eating.”

Many Church members don’t recognize the voice of God.


We attend Church.

But we fail to recognize that God is speaking to us out of the Word when the          

Scriptures are read, taught and preached.


Many Church members don’t know who feeds us.

We have the best food in the world.


But we don’t know that God gives it to us.

Isaiah told the Jews, “You have forsaken the Lord.”


“You have gone away backwards” (Isa. 1:4).

God said, “When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from      



“Yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear” (Isa. 1:15).

Do you understand what God was saying?


He was saying, “If you don’t start hearing my voice, the time will come when         

you will make many prayers.”

“And I won’t hear your voice.”


Have you ever felt like God wasn’t listening to your prayers?

Perhaps, you haven’t been listening to the voice of God.


“Ignoring God may not seem important to us.”

“Sliding backwards may not seem important to us.”


“But it’s important to God.”

It comes back to us in the form of unanswered prayers.


Here’s the good news.

The Jews could make things right.


God would forgive them.

He said, “Wash you,”


“Make you clean;”

“Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes” (Isa. 1:16).


“Learn to do well” (Isa. 1:17).

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:”


“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;”

“Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”


“If ye be (1) willing and (2) obedient,”

“Ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isa. 1:18-19).


“Wash you” means clean up your life.

“Put away your evil doings” means stop doing things that are wrong.


“Learn to do well” means learn to do what God wants you to do.

The hypocrisy in our life can be red as scarlet.


But God can make it white as snow.

It can be red as crimson.


But God can make it white as wool.

If we will do what the Word of God says, our saltiness will be restored.


Our 2nd example of restoration concerns the Jews in Ezekiel’s day.

God said, Whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not         

warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be       

upon his own head.”


“He heard the sound of the trumpet,”

“And took not warning;”


“His blood shall be upon him.”

“But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul” (Ezek. 33:4-5).


God was saying, “When people sin, give them a clear warning.”

“If they die without listening, their blood is on their own head.”


“But if they listen, they will be saved.”

It was 1969.


Hurricane Camille was bearing down on the coast of Mississippi.

The National Weather Service warned everyone to leave the area.


Twenty people decided to stay.

They would throw a hurricane party.


They would celebrate in a building just 250 feet from shore.

Darkness came.


Camille was growing stronger.

The police chief knocked on the door.


He warned everyone to leave.

They refused.


He asked the names of their next of kin.

They laughed.


But they gave him the names.

At 10:15 p.m., Camille came ashore with winds that exceeded 200 mph.


Nothing was left of the building where the party took place.

The only survivor that could be found was a five year old boy.


Who was responsible?

Was it the National Weather Service that issued the warning? No!


Was it the police chief who took down the names of the next of kin? No!

Those who rejected the warning were responsible for their own death.


It’s that way with those who’ve lost their saltiness.

They’ve heard the gospel;


Joined the Church;

Vowed to attend.


But their promises were like the morning dew.

In some cases, preachers, Sunday School teachers, friends and neighbors    

have talked to them;


Their conscience convicted them;

Problems developed;


Sickness struck in their family;

The death bell tolled for a friend or a loved one.


Warnings came.

But they chose to keep on being contaminated salt.


Some say, “I don’t like the preacher.”

Or, “I don’t like what’s going on at Church.”

We don’t want to lose anyone.

But there are other preachers;


And other Churches.

So excuses won’t wash with God.


One farmer said to another,  “You work several thousand acres of crop.”

“How can you find time to go fishing so much?”


The second farmer replied, “I don’t FIND time to go fishing.”

“I MAKE time to go fishing.”


That’s the way it is with those who’ve lost their saltiness.

If they wanted to, they could make time for God.


They’re not making time for God because they’ve decided not to make time

for God.

God said, “There’s no need for me to punish these people;”


“No need for them to continue in their rebellion.”

He said, “It doesn’t matter who they are;”


“Where they are;”

“How deep they’ve fallen in sin.”


“I want them back.”

And what He told them is very important.


“As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the  


“But that the wicked turn from his way and live:”


“Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways;”

“For why will ye die” (Ezek. 33:11)?


God loved these people.

He didn’t want them to perish.


He asked them to turn around.

Turn around before it’s too late;


Turn around before He had to bring them before the Judgment Bar.

Our 3rd example of restoration concerns the Church at Ephesus.


Jesus said, “Thou hast left thy first love” (Rev. 2:4).

He added, “I have somewhat against thee.”


These are awful words.

I hope I never hear Jesus say, “I have somewhat against thee.”


What was it?

They didn’t love Jesus as much as they use to.


This is the problem of those who have lost their saltiness.

They got off to a good start;


Had some knowledge of the Scriptures;

Were attending Sunday School, worship services, Revivals, etc.;

Were serving the Lord.

But their love started dying.


They lost their zeal;

They transferred their loyalty to other things;


Stopped having time for Jesus.

He said remember the way it used to be and repent.


Restoring our saltiness requires repentance;

Turning around;


Going back to the good things we once did.

A great preacher named Dr. Henry Ward Beecher got sick.


He asked a substitute to preach for him.

Several Church members came out of Sunday School,


Saw they had a substitute preacher,

And started to leave.


The substitute preacher saw them heading for the doors.

He stepped up to the pulpit and said, “All who came here to worship Dr.      

Beecher this morning should leave.”


“All who came here to worship the Lord this morning should stay in their      


Several people sat back down.


If we don’t worship the Lord when we attend Church, we’re either pretending        

to be salt.

Or our love is dying.


It’s time to repent.

And Jesus said, if we don’t repent, two things will happen:


There will come a time of judgment.

And a time when Jesus will no longer let us be salt in the world.


It’s a privilege to serve God;

To earn rewards in heaven.


If we stop serving God, He will give us many chances to repent.

But if we don’t repent, the time will come when we will no longer be asked to         

serve Him.


Our 4th example of restoration concerns the Church at Laodicea.

Jesus said, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:”


“I would thou wert cold or hot.”

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee        

out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16).


He told these Church members, “You have a little bit of love, but not much.”

“You’re not very obedient.”


“You’re running your own life.”

That’s the unsalty Church member.


He doesn’t come right out and say, “I’ve decided to turn my back on Jesus.”

He just makes excuses;


Let’s the sin of complacency prevail in his life.

Jesus doesn’t want this.


He said, “Be zealous, therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19).

He added, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne”  

(Rev. 3:21).


Before he became president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge was vice   


As vice president, he presided over the senate.


One day, two senators got into a hot debate.

One Senator told another to “go straight to hell [the bad place].”


The offended Senator complained to vice president Coolidge.

“You’re the presiding officer.”


“Do something about what he said.”

Vice president Coolidge replied, “I have.”


“I’ve checked the rule book.”

“You don’t have to go.”


God said, “You’ve lost your saltiness.”

“But you don’t have to perish.”


“You can abandon your complacency.”

“Serve me with fervor.”


“And everything will be alright.”

Paul talked about this.


He gave two reasons for obeying God.

The first reason for obeying God concerns His promises.


If we will be faithful to God, He promised to bless us in ways the world        


Good things will happen to us that would never happen otherwise.


The second reason for obeying God concerns respect for God.

Those who respect God cannot be indifferent about His will for their life.


If a Church member has lost his saltiness, he needs to change.

His family needs for him to change.


His Church needs for him to change.

The world needs him to change.


And Jesus wants him to change.